The St. Tammany Parish Council will decide at a special meeting Wednesday which of three applicants will be appointed to fill out the unexpired term of Richard Artigue, who resigned earlier this month to become Slidell’s airport manager.
Four people submitted letters and résumés for the District 13 seat, which covers the southeast corner of the parish, as of Friday, the deadline. But one of them, former parish contracts administrator John Cassisa Sr., said Monday that he was withdrawing his name from consideration.
That leaves three contenders to fill the remaining five months in Artigue’s term: Michele Blanchard, Deanna Hamilton-Lamz and Scott Jones. All are lawyers.
Blanchard also is running for the seat in the Oct. 24 primary. The other announced candidate in that election, Dan Crowley, said last week that he would not seek the interim appointment. He is chairman of the board that governs St. Tammany Fire Protection District No. 1.
Blanchard served as chairwoman of the St. Tammany Parish Charter Review Committee and lists a number of leadership roles on her résumé, including treasurer of the St. Tammany Economic Development Foundation.
She’s lived in District 13 for more than 10 years. A graduate of Pearl River High School, she received her law degree from LSU. Her legal practice, which focuses on tax, business and estate planning, is located in the district.
Hamilton-Lamz, who has lived in the district for 20 years, received her law degree from Loyola University and has a general civil practice with an emphasis on family law. She was previously a staff attorney for 22nd Judicial District Judges Patricia Hedges and Elaine Guillot. She is married to Slidell City Judge Jim Lamz.
Hamilton-Lamz has a long list of civic involvements, including leadership positions with Safe Harbor, the Slidell Business & Professional Women’s organization and the Slidell Noon Lions Club.
Jones, a partner with Inabnet & Jones LLC in Mandeville, has lived in District 13 for 26 years. He received his law degree from Loyola University; his practice has focused on maritime personal injury litigation.
A member of First Baptist Church of Slidell, he served on that church’s school board and is a member of the International Trumpet Guild.
Follow Sara Pagones on Twitter, @spagonesadvocat.